Lake Norman Counselors, Providers

The Moving Mountaineer

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah. I am trained in Marriage and Family Therapy, and I am looking forward to providing therapy to children, teens, and their families!

I recently moved to the Lake Norman area from Boone, North Carolina. I spent the last 6 years living in the mountains while I attended Appalachian State University. While a piece of my heart will always be in the mountains, I love the Lake Norman area and I’m happy to call it my new home! 

Moving away from what was familiar is difficult at times, and I still find myself adjusting to my new home–mostly the traffic. However, change is something that I have become familiar with over the years. This was my twenty-second time moving in my lifetime. I’ve lived in 3 states: North Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio. While I am a North Carolina native, I lived in Ohio for most of my childhood and moved back to North Carolina at the age of thirteen. This is an age when life can be difficult enough before you add in the weight of a big life change like moving to a different state. Talk about overwhelming! 

Over the years, I have learned to welcome the challenge of change and see it as an opportunity to grow. Change can be scary but change is also a powerful force. It impacts all aspects of your life and provides the opportunity for further development and self-discovery as you explore the new chapter that is unfolding in front of you.

I believe that change is a crucial part of therapy. Life changes or the desire to enact change is why many people seek the support of a therapist. My experience with facing changes in my own life has taught me so much about the resiliency of human beings. I believe that we are all capable of facing whatever obstacles that are put in our paths, and I look forward to walking with you during your season of change.

Counseling, Lake Norman Counselors

What to Say When There Are No Words

What to say when you have no words: How to talk to your children about difficult topics

As many of us are reflecting on the tragedy that occurred in our city yesterday, please do not neglect the importance of talking to your kids about what happened.

Children are innately receptive to the well being of their caregivers and can pick up on the grief and nervous energy that will be among us as they return to school.

Give your child age appropriate, factual information so that if they overhear their peers or teachers discussing this tragedy they will feel informed. Remind them of the safety plans that are in place at their school and reassure them that they know the drill.

It brings tears to my eyes to even fathom that we now have active shooter drills in schools. So remember, it is ok to tell your child, “It makes me feel sad to talk about shootings, but I am really glad that we can talk about topics that upset us.”

If your child has questions that you are not quite sure how to answer or that you don’t have an answer for reflect what your child is feeling. For example, your child may ask, “mommy, why would somebody want to shoot other people?” you could say something like, “It is really hard to understand why someone would hurt others.”

Do what you need to in order to get yourself into a calm, controlled state and then initiate this conversation with your child. Stay brief, stay factual, and follow your child’s lead. If you don’t know how to answer your child’s questions you can always say, “I do not have an answer for that, what do you think the answer is?” or “tell me more about what you’re thinking.” Many times children already have the answers to their own questions and it is more important that you are listening as they process the answer than it is to give them your answer.

Some children ask many questions and other children say, “ok” and return to their play. Regardless, what is important is that you’re teaching your child that you are willing to talk about difficult topics. Nothing is more reassuring to a child than knowing their caregivers can handle their thoughts and feelings. 

For more information on this or how to talk with your kids about other difficult topics please reach out to us at LKN Counselors!